Remember when this global pandemic began? If you were like me, you thought it might last a few months before things got back to normal. Surprise! We’re almost at the two-year mark and we’re still under the gun with COVID. Back in the beginning, I realized how lucky I was that I owned my own home business. I was already using things like Dropbox and Zoom and working from home was the norm. As time went on, I also felt a little bit more protected than those that found themselves having to return to work even though the virus was still running rampant. I got my vaccinations and my booster, masked up whenever I absolutely had to leave the house, and kept the recommended six-foot distance between myself and others. And that too made me feel a certain amount of protection from the dreaded virus. Until this week.
Recently, the CDC director for the state of Maine, Dr. Nirav Shah, (who by the way is a bit of a celebrity in these parts) said we should all consider that we have a date with the latest COVID variant, Omicron. Sadly, by the time he said this during his Wednesday, January 19th, 2022 briefing, my date with Omicron had already begun.
On Monday, I was looking forward to enjoying the MLK Jr. holiday, but mid-way through the day my throat started feeling funny and I was experiencing mild body aches. By Tuesday morning the body aches were torture, I had the chills, my head hurt and I knew it was time to grab one of the home tests we had picked up just days earlier. It didn’t even take the required 15 minutes for the second line to show up telling me I had tested positive for COVID. This ‘protected’ home business owner had contracted the virus, even after taking all the precautions.
I’m going to be brutally honest here, I can’t imagine how horrible it must be to have this virus if you aren’t vaccinated. It was no picnic for me and I’ve even had the booster. A neighbor had mentioned when they had it that their hair hurt. They weren’t kidding. Everything hurt, from my toes to my fingertips. I knew Tuesday morning I was going to have to contact my clients and let them know. Which I did. I sent an email and explained that I would have to take it easy for a few days but that I would monitor my email in case of emergencies. At that point, I expected I would start feeling better in a couple of days. Except that didn’t happen. By Thursday, I’d lost my sense of smell and my voice and I still was so exhausted that just answering emails zapped all the energy I had.
So why am I sharing this on a blog about home business?
Because when you’re a one-person show, it can be terrifying when something like this happens. There’s no one to fill in for you and often you feel you have to work sick. Except in a case like this, that’s just not possible. And the truth is, being a solo entrepreneur shouldn’t mean you have to sacrifice your own well-being. Most clients aren’t going to expect that either. What they will expect is for you to communicate with them and be honest. Most clients would much rather you take care of yourself and get back to work when you’re healthy.
Luckily, I have the best clients ever. Not one of them complained about me not being available this week, even though I’m sure it was an inconvenience for some of them. Today I’m finally feeling like I am getting better. I sent out another email to them to thank them for their understanding and let them know I expected things to be back to normal next week. Continued communication is key when you’re dealing with something like this. And I know one thing for sure…of all the bad dates I’ve had in my lifetime, this one takes the cake. I’ll be doing everything in my power to be sure there is never a second date with Omicron.
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